Spike: Into the Light

Author: James Marsters

Illustrator: Derlis Santacruz

Note: This graphic novel takes place around the beginning of season 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there are definitely spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Sometimes a guy just can’t catch a break. Of course, it doesn’t help when you’re a vampire who’s only recently won back his soul and is still battling a dark past–plus all the complications that come from being a vampire. So, Spike finds himself in the small city of Greenville, broke, alone, starving–his shoes are even falling apart! But just maybe, as past collides with present, Spike just might be able, in some way, to redeem the present . . . or at least make a decent impression on an attractive local girl.

As Buffy progressed, I found myself more and more fascinated by Spike’s character, to the extent that now he’s quite possibly my favorite character in the entire series. Thus, finding a canon graphic novel written by James Marsters–the person who played Spike’s character in Buffy and Angel–was a pleasant surprise. I think the story presented in Spike: Into the Light portrays Spike’s character–and more importantly, the challenges and changes he’s going through–excellently. It’s true to the main storyline, while at the same time presenting an original, self-contained story that can be enjoyed in its own right (although the allusions to the main story will be appreciated only by those who have already seen Buffy up to this point). The art is quite nice–dynamic and expressive, yet somehow homey–in the American comic-book style. I think I would recommend Spike: Into the Light to those who enjoy his character and would like to see it fleshed out a bit more, as well as to those who enjoy a good comic in general, even if they’re not too familiar with Spike’s character. And I’m pleased to say that this graphic novel is actually appropriate for readers 16+ at least, possibly younger (a nice change, since most comic books are rife with language, sex, etc.)

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